James Emejo in Abuja
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku, has disclosed that total investment announcements for the first quarter of 2019 stood at about $15.15 billion.
But, the amount was 67 per cent lower than investment interests of $45.74 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2018.
Speaking during a quarterly interactive session with Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) in Abuja, she said a total of 43 projects were tracked across 12 States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The NIPC boss noted that the apparent decline in investors’ interest was “probably due to many investors waiting for the conclusion of national elections and handover in the first half of 2019.”
According to her, the major announcements were from Royal Dutch Shell Plc with $10 billion in crude exploration, Moroccan OCP Group’s plan to build a $1.5 billion ammonia plant in three states and the joint venture contract between Malaysian partners and Nigerian oil company and First Exploration & Petroleum Development Company Limited worth $901.79 million for the exploration of crude oil at the Anyala and Madu oil fields.
She said announcements from the Netherlands accounted for 66 per cent by value, followed by Morocco at 14 per cent, and Nigeria at 9 per cent.
The investments announcement, tracked through the NIPC Intelligence Newsletters,
also showed that mining & quarrying sector accounted for 81 per cent, the manufacturing sector was 14 per cent, and finance & insurance was 2 per cent.
The major investment destinations were the Niger-Delta region with 77 per cent, followed by Ondo State at 7 per cent, and Lagos at 4 per cent of the value announced.
Sadiku, however, explained that the figures only on investment announcements cited in NIPC’s Newsletters from January to June 2019 and “may not contain exhaustive information on all investment announcements in Nigeria during the period.”
She said: “Nevertheless, the Report gives a sense of investors’ interest in the Nigerian economy. NIPC did not independently verify the authenticity of the investment announcements but is working on tracking the announcements as they progress to actual investments.”
In May, the NIPC boss had said about $90.9 billion worth of investments was announced in the country in 2018.
The aggregate foreign exchange inflow into the Nigerian economy in May 2019, amounted to US$10.22 billion, showing an increase of 3.2 per cent above the level at the end of the preceding month, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had revealed.
According to the central bank’s economic report for May, the increase was as a result of a 4.3 per cent and 2.6 per cent rise in inflows through the Bank and Autonomous sources, respectively. On the other hand, aggregate foreign exchange outflow from the economy, at US$3.97 billion, fell by 18.5 per cent and 22.9 per cent below the levels in the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2018, respectively. This was attributed, mainly, to the 15.8 per cent and 37.8 per cent decline in outflows through the Bank and autonomous sources, respectively.
But inflow through autonomous sources, rose by 2.6 per cent to US$6.21 billion in May 2019, compared with the level at the end of April 2019. Outflow from autonomous sources, on month-on- month basis, fell by 37.8 per cent to US$0.37 billion, reflecting the decline in both visible and invisible imports.
Accordingly, foreign exchange flows through the economy, resulted in a net inflow of US$6.26 billion in the review period, Similarly, aggregate sectoral utilisation of foreign exchange fell by 29.7 per cent to US$2.83 billion in May 2019, compared with the level in the preceding month. The invisible sector accounted for the bulk (63.7 per cent) of total foreign exchange disbursed in the review month, followed by components of the visible sub-sector listed in descending order as follows: Industrial sector, 15.7 per cent; manufactured products, 7.5 per cent; food products, 5.9 per cent; minerals and oil, 5.2 per cent; transport, 1.6 per cent; and agricultural products, 0.4 per cent.